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‘The death penalty sins against the principle of human dignity’ – Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Two bills that seek to remove the death sentence from the nation’s judicial system are now being debated in Parliament, and they have the support of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

When the measures are passed, the legislation that permits the state to end human life when an accused individual is found guilty of crimes including murder, attempted murder, treason, piracy, violent mutiny, etc. will be changed.

It will also replace the death penalty with life in jail.

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The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has urged all Ghanaians to “operate with determination to eradicate the death sentence from our judicial system” in a memo to that effect.

They contend that each and every person has a fundamental right to life and that human dignity is inalienable.

“God created the human person in His image and likeness and therefore He alone can take back the human life. It is therefore, an obligation of every possessor of life to strive at all times to preserve the sanctity of human life,” the memorandum read.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference further referred to the death penalty as a sin and said that “the death penalty does not afford the guilty individual the opportunity to repent and seek forgiveness.”

It also mentioned the fact that mistakes in justice can occasionally result in innocent persons being punished.

The statement, which was signed by the Conference’s President, Most Rev. Philip Naameh, said, “It is for the aforementioned that the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference submits this Memorandum in support of the two Bills presented before Parliament of Ghana to remove the death sentence in our statute books.”

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